Auto SLA Calculator for CRM2011 Configuration Page

Auto SLA Calculator for CRM2011 Release Notes

Introduction

Thank you for downloading and installing our Auto SLA Calculator solution.

This configuration page is for the Gap Consulting Auto SLA Calculator solution v5.2.0.4, released on 3rd September 2013.

Version v5.2.0.4 marks the latest official Release for Auto SLA Calculator for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.

Gap Consulting Ltd would like to thank all customers which downloaded, tested, and provided feedback during the BETA phase testing of this product.

Synopsis

Gap’s Essentials Auto SLA Calculator tool provides a flexible solution to address the limitations within Microsoft Dynamics CRM to calculate dates and durations while taking in to consideration the concept of ‘working hours’. This enables accurate 'service level agreement' dates to be produced and also enables the production of real time averages of time taken to respond or complete cases or incidents using Microsoft Dynamics CRM's charting capability.

Auto SLA Calculator can return a specific date & time by using a pre-defined 'Auto SLA Definition' record to establish the working day/time after passing a start date/time plus the number of days, hours, and minutes to add or subtract. So for example, if an Auto SLA Definition is configured to represent a working schedule of Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm and a request record is raised at 4:30pm on a Friday afternoon with the addition of 45 minutes, the calculation will return the date/time of the following Monday at 9:15am.

Alternatively, a start date/time and an end date/time can be passed and the duration and number of minutes (both elapsed and 'working minutes') will be returned.

Although not mandatory, the solution works in conjunction with workflow to make the application of business rules extremely configurable.

Known Issues

There are no known issues for this release.

Version History

Here is the current version and release history of Auto SLA Calculator;

v5.2.0.4 - RTW Release 3rd September 2013

v5.2.0.1 – BETA (13th June 2013)

 ·         Initial release

v5.2.0.0 – BETA (10th June 2013)

·         Initial release

FAQ

Why do I get some random results appearing instead of the correct SLA request result?

By default, the Auto SLA Calculator solution runs in trial mode.  Please see the Trial Mode section in this document for more information.

Why is my workflow not updating my desired field with the Auto SLA request result?

When you build your workflow that includes a create step for an Auto SLA Request record, you must include a wait step immediately after the create record step. The wait condition should be configured to wait until the chosen result field contains data on the Auto SLA Request record created in the previous step. If this is not done, the workflow will progress to the next step before the Auto SLA Request record can complete its calculation and return a result.

What does the solution cost?

The current cost of Auto SLA Calculator is £299. This is a flat fee per live organisation irrespective of user numbers or the number of development / test organisations which support the live organisation.

Please visit our website at www.gapconsulting.co.uk for information on obtaining a licence for your Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Organisation.

How many environments does the Auto SLA Calculator licence cover?

You require 1 licence for each live Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 organisation. This covers multiple databases if you use development and test organisations as part of your release process. A licence key is required for each organisation however if you wish to avoid running in trial mode in all organisations. Gap consulting will provide the required number of license keys once your license fee has been received.

For example, if you move your Development Organisation through a System Test, UAT, and Live environment, then you still only need to pay for 1 licence.  If you have two different production Organisations, running different solutions then you would need to pay 2 licence fees.

Does Auto SLA Calculator work with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Outlook in Offline Mode?

Auto SLA request records can be created while using the offline Outlook client but only if created via Jscript or a plugin. Workflow cannot run while in offline mode.

Trial Mode

By default this solution runs in trial mode.  Whilst running in Trial Mode, approximately 1 in every 5 Auto SLA requests will generate a random result value.  Trial Mode can be removed by purchasing and applying a license key for your CRM Organisation.

Installation

Prerequisites

On-Premise or Partner Hosted

You must have the following prerequisites installed before installing the Auto SLA Calculator for Microsoft Dynamics CRM On-Premise or Partner Hosted;

·         A fully working installation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

·         Minimum of Rollup 1 installed for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

·         A System Administrator security role for your Organisation

CRM Online

You must have the following prerequisites installed before installing the Auto SLA Calculator for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online;

·         An active Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online subscription

·         A System Administrator security role for your Organisation

Installation Steps

Please use these steps to install Auto SLA Calculator v5.2.0.0 RTW.

Step 1: Navigate to Settings > Solutions, and import the v5.2.0.0 Auto SLA Calculator solution

                Note: During import ensure you select the Activate Processes tick box

Step 2: Once imported, click on Publish All Customizations.  Refresh your browser.

Upgrade Steps

N/A however, future releases will require the following procedure;

Step 1: Navigate to Settings > Solutions, and import the Auto SLA Calculator solution

                Note: During import ensure you select the Overwrite Customisations option

Note: During import ensure you select the Activate Processes tick box

Step 2: When the import process has completed you may have some warnings related to SDK Message Process Steps, this is normal behaviour when sdk message processing steps are overwritten.  Close the import window.

Step 3: Once imported, click on Publish All Customizations.  Refresh your browser.

Requesting a Licence Key

To request a licence key for your Auto Number solution please follow these steps;

Step 1: Navigate to the customisations area of CRM.  Click on Customisations.

Step 2: Click on Developer Resources

Step 3: Copy & paste the Organisation Unique Name send a licence key request to [email protected]

Installing a Licence Key

To install a licence key for your Auto SLA Calculator solution please follow these steps;

Step 1: Navigate to Settings > Interfaces

Step 2: Open the Auto SLA Calculator License Key interface record

Step 3: Double click to open the Licence Key interface parameter record

Step 4: Copy and paste your licence key into the value field to replace the “Trial Version” value

Step 5: Save and close the Interface Parameter.  Auto SLA Calculator will now operate in licenced mode.

Uninstallation Steps

To remove Auto SLA Calculator please perform the following two steps.  The steps apply to all current releases of Auto SLA Calculator.

Step 1: Navigate to the Auto SLA Definitions entity in the Settings area.  Click on each Auto SLA Definition and press the delete key to remove this record.

Step 2: Remove any workflow steps that reference the Auto SLA Request record.

Step 3: Navigate to the Solution area in Settings.  Click on Auto SLA Calculator, click delete, and follow the instructions.

Step 4: If any Jscript or plugins were subsequently developed that created Auto SLA Request records, modify or remove these.

Configuration

Information

The Gap Consulting Auto SLA Calculator Solution provides a flexible way to calculate Service Level Agreement date/time values and also working time duration between two date values. This means ‘respond by’ date/time values and elapsed durations can be calculated to allow the CRM user to prioritise their workload and performance metrics to be available for reporting.

The solution contains two configuration entities; the Auto SLA Definition and the Auto SLA Exception. These entities determine when the ‘business hours’ start and end. The Auto SLA Request record references the Definition and Exception records while performing the calculation. This calculation is triggered on create of the Auto SLA Request record (a plugin executes and populates the ‘result’ fields on the Auto SLA Request record).

Creating a new Auto SLA Definition record

To create a new Auto SLA Definition follow these steps;

1)      Navigate to the Auto SLA Definition entity within the Settings area, and click new

2)      Enter a name for the Auto SLA Definition

3)      Define which week days are ‘working’ days and configure suitable start time and durations for each day.

Auto SLA Definition records are created to configure which days within a week are classed as ‘working days’ and the start/end of each working day can be configured. An unlimited number of Auto SLA Definition records can be created to represent different site working hours, shift patterns, or contractual service levels (i.e. Monday to Friday 9-5, 24/5, 24/7 etc).

Creating a new Auto SLA Exception record

Auto SLA Exception records are designed to enable the definition of business closures within an Auto SLA Definition record. These can be used for public holidays or other closures and simply provide a start date/time and end date/time within which non-working time exists. So for example, a half day business closure (assuming 9-5 working time) for Christmas eve would have an Auto SLA Exception record with a start date of 24/12/2013 13:00 and an end date of 24/12/2013 17:00.

NOTE: Auto SLA Exceptions are limited to specific dates so are not designed to be recurring or to span multiple days. You could however create a simple workflow to timeout and automatically create new Auto SLA Exceptions annually for example.

 

Creating an Auto SLA Request Record

After defining these definition records, an ‘Auto SLA Request’ record can be created using workflow, Jscript, Plugins or using the sdk which requires input values such as the start time and number of days/hours/minutes to add or subtract. To return working or elapsed duration values, both a start and end date/time must be passed to the Auto SLA Request record.

 

On create of the Auto SLA Request record, a plugin will fire and perform the calculation before populating the results fields on the Auto SLA Request record. This can then be used for example in subsequent workflow steps if created in this way.

The screenshot above illustrates an Auto SLA Request that would be configured to run on create of a case and passes SLA inputs of 3 days 4 hours in order to calculate the Date result. When using SLA inputs, the calculation direction may also be set to backwards as well as forwards.

SLA Date/Time Example; An Auto SLA Definition is configured whereby Monday to Friday are work days with a start time of 9am and 8hrs work time for each day (i.e. 9am to 5pm).

Users create a case record which contains a ‘Respond By’ date/time field, and marks the case as high priority. A workflow has been configured whereby if a case has a high priority, then a 4 hour response time is required.

An Auto SLA Request record is created via a workflow and dynamically passes the start date/time as the case created on time, which happens to be Thursday the 18th of April at 4pm. The Auto SLA Request also contains an input to add 4 hours to the start date/time.

The Auto SLA Request record once created calculates the result as Friday the 19th of April at 12pm because the work time finishes at 5pm on the Thursday and begins again at 9am on the Friday.

The workflow waits until the Auto SLA request record’s ‘Result’ field contains data then uses this value to update the ‘Respond By’ field on the case as 19/04/2013 12:00.

Business Minutes Duration Example; An Auto SLA Definition is configured whereby Monday to Friday are work days with a start time of 9am and 8hrs work time for each day (i.e. 9am to 5pm).

A workflow is configured to run when a case is resolved with the aim of populating a ‘Case Duration’ field. Within this workflow, an Auto SLA Request record is created which passes a start date/time and an end date/time, waits for the Business Minutes Duration result field on the Auto SLA Request record to contain data, then updates the Case Duration.

The case is created on the 19/04/2013 at 1pm and is resolved on the 20/04/2013 at 10am.

The workflow, after successfully running, updates the Case Duration with 5 hours. NOTE: Due to CRM platform restrictions on the case entity, your workflow will need to re-open the case briefly while it performs the update then close again.

In the screenshot above, the Auto SLA Request record is passed both start and end date/time values, for example in the scenario of a case being closed. If both start and end date/time values are passed, the duration and minutes results fields will be populated. Elapsed values ignore the Auto SLA Definition record whereas the business duration and minutes return the values after taking the Auto SLA Definition and Auto SLA Exception records in to account.

The Duration and Minutes values can be extremely useful in monitoring average response times when used in conjunction with Microsoft Dynamics CRM’s charting capabilities.

Security Requirements

There is a security role available within the Auto SLA Calculator Solution called “Auto SLA Generation (for All Users)”.  This security role must be given to all users who require the ability to generate Auto SLA Requests when creating new records.

The creation of Auto SLA Definitions is assumed to be a system administrative task therefore any delegation of creating these records to non-system administrative users must be dealt with via your security roles in use.

Operation

How to enable logging

Auto SLA Calculator for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 provides two levels of runtime logging, Event Logging and Trace Logging.  Please note, for Live operation, logging should always be disabled unless outside of core business hours due to the high volume of records created by the trace log.

If you require support, you could be asked to enable to enable logging for Auto SLA Calculator which is based on the following steps;

Step 1: Navigate to Settlings > Interfaces

Step 2: Open the Auto SLA Calculator interface.

Step 3: In the Interface Options & Parameters section click to enable the logging type required, save and close.

Step 4: Create an Auto SLA Request record either manually, via a workflow, a plugin, Jscript or the SDK.

Step 5: Open the interface record again.  You should now see a new Interface Job record.  Double click to open the Interface Job Record for detailing logging information.

Support

When the Auto SLA Calculator is purchased, you will receive 12 months of support. This can be renewed annually at a cost of 20% of your Auto SLA Calculator order. If you require support for our Auto SLA Calculator for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 product please send an email to [email protected]